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Five Russians still wanted over U.S. banking fraud


Five Russian nationals are still wanted in the U.S. on suspicion of being involved in a large-scale banking fraud, a Russian vice consul in New York told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

A total of 12 Russians have already been detained, the citizenship of two other detainees is currently being established. The FBI earlier said that 21 Russians, who entered the United States on student visas, are believed to have been involved in a global cyber crime scheme that resulted in over $3 million being stolen from U.S. bank accounts.

"At the moment, 21 Russian nationals have been charged in connection with the case, according to FBI documents. The Russian Consulate General in New York has so far been notified about the detention of 12 Russians. Five Russians are wanted, according to FBI," Aleander Otchainov said.

He added that the Russian Consulate General has not yet been officially notified about the detention of two other Russians, who, according to the U.S. authorities have already pleaded guilty to the charges.

Charges brought against them include conspiracy to commit bank fraud, money laundering and passport fraud.

Prosecutors said most of the detainees had been used by East European hackers as "money mules" to open bank accounts later used to receive and transfer the stolen funds. They may face up to 30 years in prison as well as fines of up to $1 million.

The fraudulent scheme used the Zeus Trojan virus. When computer users clicked on a link or opened an attached file, malware was activated, which noted usernames and passwords that the victims typed on infected computers, the FBI said.

Source: Five Russians still wanted over U.S. banking fraud

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